Green fundraising.
Subject: Green technology (Usage)
Fund raising (Environmental aspects)
Fund raising (Advertising)
Author: Quesnelle, Rejean
Pub Date: 04/01/2011
Publication: Name: CANNT Journal Publisher: Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses & Technologists ISSN: 1498-5136
Issue: Date: April-June, 2011 Source Volume: 21 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 242 Advertising Advertising Code: 52 Advertising Activity
Product: Product Code: 8347000 Fund Raising Agencies NAICS Code: 81341 Civic and Social Organizations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 259157196
Full Text: Dear Green Tech,

The weekend of Sept 9-11, 2011, marks the second annual Kidney March in Calgary, which I am looking forward to participating in again. I am, however, looking for some unique and creative ideas for fundraising this year to help me reach my minimum funding goals. It would be fantastic if you are aware of any such ideas and were able to provide me with some insight into "green" fundraising.


Kidney Cathy from Calgary

Dear Kidney,

Well, spring has sprung and is nearing its end with summer now on the doorstep. With beautiful blooms and early food crops now here, the excitement for the warm summer weather is infectious. It also marks the mid-way point for those of us training for the annual parade of marathons and sporting events in support of our cherished cause.

There are numerous longstanding events such as the Terry Fox Run, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon or the Weekend to End Women's Cancer, all of which hope to raise thousands of dollars to help their cause. But in the world of kidney disease, the 100 km gauntlet we call the Kidney March held in Calgary the weekend following Labour Day is another such feat that helps not only to raise awareness regarding kidney disease, but also plays a pivotal role in supporting The Kidney Foundation of Canada's ongoing campaign.

As with all of these large events, each competitor pledges a strong commitment and dedication by way of both training and monetary contribution, which in some cases is in the thousands of dollars. So with fundraising being a key component of each participant's application, it requires a great deal of strategy and planning in order to meet his or her funding goals.

You have your traditional fare of fundraisers. The yard sale or sometimes referred to as a white elephant or boot sale. Then there is the candy or bake sale, and finally the 50/50 raffle. There are limitless ideas for fundraising. Cookie dough, scratch cards, plant sales, BBQ, car wash, and the list goes on and on. We also have those marquee events, for example, benefit dinners and concerts, silent auctions, sporting events (golf tournaments, etc.) and charity casino/games night (also includes Bingo).

I should mention here that my band, In Lieu of Riche$, has done numerous benefit concerts for friends of ours. Two for the Weekend to End Women's Cancer and our upcoming Relay For Life concert, all of which are rockin' good times.

The problem you face with large-scale events is the expense factor. The expense of time--planning the event months in advance and, in many, cases up to a year. The expense of money--upfront costs required to run the event: rent the hall, the caterer, entertainment, which can easily be in the thousands of dollars before a ticket has even been sold. The expense of people--rustling up a large number of volunteers to help organize and staff the event is a challenge all onto itself.

The fact of the matter is that largescale fundraising is a gamble. You may end up having a smashing event and raise a great deal of money for your charity, but you can also do quite poorly and make very little compared to all the expenses it took to put it all together in the first place.

So then, to answer your question, "Are you aware of any such unique ideas", the answer would be YES. Well, there are a few unique takes of old ideas I found while researching. You can do what is called a direct action auction where you play a unique role of both fundraiser and philanthropist. You raffle yourself off to the highest bidder for a better sense. FYI--I make a good manservant, as I know this question was begging to be answered.

Another unique take on an idea I mentioned was the car wash. Why not try a car wash using the reject water from your unit's RO. Now this may or may not be possible, but if it is, what a really green idea to reuse some of this water (a future theme), that would have inevitably been flushed down the drain. What a great way to create some buzz about your unit.

And why not a charity calendar filled with Canada's best. I know of a few techs who could put those firefighters to the test.

So not to digress too much from my "green" train of thought, but here are a few other unique ideas for fundraising: FundScrip and FundTunes. FundScrip is a shopper's dream. How about this idea. Shop with gift cards and, in turn, raise money for a charity. That is unbelievable! Well, ladies, it is true. With over 100 of Canada's leading retailers on board (Canadian Tire, Sobeys, Home Depot, Starbucks), there is no way to hold you back from hitting the mall for a good cause.

Now for "How it works". The premise is simple: you purchase gift cards from the organization looking to fundraise (and if it is a personal fundraiser, then yourself ). You place the order and the cards are then shipped to you, where you hand them out to frantically waiting hands. Purchasing gift cards to pay for gas or your weekly groceries, you will soon see just how quickly you can raise money with very little effort. If you can amass a group of ongoing participants, take for example 10, within a year you can earn $3,600. And if you are good at persuading say 50 people, you can look at fundraising in the neighbourhood of $18,000. So let the shopping begin!

If you like to download music, then why not do so in a way to help your favourite charity. FundTunes is a new fundraising program that began here in Toronto. The premise is that people buy song bundles and a portion goes to the charity of choice. For every 10-song bundle, $3.00 goes to the non-profit organization. They also have a five-song bundle, with $1.50 going to the charity. Currently, MADD, Best Buddies, WhiteCrow Village, and Canadian Cancer Society are a few of the organizations already on board. The creators behind FundTunes have teamed with Universal Music Canada to provide the vast music catalogue from which to download (comprising 40% of the music market in Canada). And if you're looking to donate to a specific non-profit organization not currently listed, all you have to do is e-mail FundTunes to get the process started.

Okay, now finally the green ideas. In recent years, green-based fundraising has really picked up momentum. There are numbers of programs to sell green wares and fundraise, such as litterless lunch kits, stainless water bottles, organic coffee, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, etc. But what makes my pockets really jingle with money is making cash out of junk. With the recent release of the iPad 2, the iPhone 4, and other techie gadgets, our drawers begin to pile up with our now unused or broken electronics. What we consider trash others consider treasure--a business model at the heart of every Dragon. This is the future of fundraising.

Collect used ink-jet and toner cartridges, damaged cell phones and cameras, and return them to one of a number of organizations now running these programs. In return for your efforts, you make money. Think Recycle ( is the program that we have had set up on behalf of our Green Team here at Halton Healthcare. Since we signed up, we have made more than $300, which has been used to run our green DIY workshops. These companies take your used projects, like ink cartridges, refill them and resell them. If the products are defective, they can reclaim various precious metals like gold, palladium and silver. Another check in the win category comes via tree planting--that for every 24 qualifying items, a tree is planted.

Keeping on this topic, you can also reach out to your tech room and collect the biomedical trash. Don't throw away anything anymore, as it may have some value. Old wire, broken motors and TVs, can all be recycled through the Ontario Electronic Stewardship (; therefore diverting from landfill. You can arrange your own e-waste fundraiser and see the benefits roll in for both yourself and the environment.

Not a resident of Ontario, no problem, as other provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI) also have a similar e-waste programs in place. Contact them and register your fundraiser.

The great thing about these programs (Think Recycle, FundScrip, FundTunes) is that they just simply manage themselves and will continue to fundraise indefinitely. There is more than enough junk to collect and so why not consider this as a unit initiative and create a staff fund to fund events like Nephrology Health Care Professional Day, or put the monies raised towards some random acts of kindness for patients during the festive seasons.

Whoosh! Now I know that was a lot of typing and that I have just handed you a great deal of info to take in all at once. Keep in mind that you need to have every angle covered to generate funds, but also, more importantly, to run a successful campaign.

Finally, raising money is only one of the many components needed for a successful fundraiser. Successful fundraising campaigns depend on a strong promotional and marketing campaign. Make a video and post it on YouTube, update your status on Facebook and Twitter and blog about all of your experiences. Give thanks and credit to all of those who've supported your journey. Be the first one to give, as it will show everyone your true personal commitment to the cause. And always stay committed no matter how hard the journey may seem. We all know that to journey in the other's shoes is much harder.

Needless to say, there are lots of ways of creating a successful and lucrative fundraising campaign. Finally, keep in mind that whatever you end up doing must meet a G-Rating: Good for Us, Others and the Planet. I wish you all the best in your fundraising campaigns.

As always, if ever you want more information or help, feel free to contact me at

Thanks and remember to Keep it Green, Eh!

Copyright [c] 2011 Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists

Rejean Quesnelle, AScT Renal Technologist, Halton Healthcare Services, Oakville, ON
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.